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Macbeth Shakespeare wrote 'Macbeth' between 1603 and 1606 for King James 1st (England) and 6th (Scotland). It's about a tale of royalty treachery heroes and witches. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 the public were full of tales of witches and evil. Witchcraft was a subject that the English took very seriously. They believed that a witch had a third nipple under her arm. They burned women or threw them in lakes to see if they floated, if they did, they were sentenced to death. It is estimated that in Scotland between 1564 and 1603 eight thousand suspected witches were burned to death. These executions did not cease until the end of the seventeenth century. The sight of witches in an Elizabethan theatre would have been terrifying for the audience. For my English coursework on Macbeth I have chosen to look at act one scene one, two and three. This is due to the simple fact that it is the introduction to the play and indeed it sets the feel to the whole play In Shakespeare's play, we open during a thunderstorm; this prepares us for the evil witches. Three witches come onto the stage: 'When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain?' The first witch asks what the setting shall be for their next meeting, thunder, lightning and rain conditions that most people would find frightening and would stay away from. The second witch says that they will meet: 'When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won.' We then find out that they are going to meet on 'the heath.' They have insight into the future. The witches tell us that they are going to meet Macbeth. We do not know who Macbeth is or why the witches are meeting him, but we think that he must be evil because he is linked with the witches. ...read more.


This makes Macbeth seem less evil when he kills him. The production is not about good fighting evil, it is about bad fighting worse. Shakespeare meant this as a morality play, however this is not a moral king and I feel that it makes me feel more sympathy for Macbeth when he betrays Duncan. The camera brings us back to the house, they are using pepper spray and baseball bats. The image is extremely violent. The television is switched on and Macbeth is distracted by it. The National Lottery is on, he seems drawn to it and is then disgusted by it and smashes the screen. Upstairs Malcolm and Macduff are fighting when they see the Thane of Cawdor, Malcolm jumps out the window Macduff is pushed down the stairs and they go back to tell Duncan. Macbeth comes up the stairs and gets trapped with Banquo. We go back to the Public House, where Malcolm and Macduff have just arrived Macduff keeps pushing Malcolm away. He tells Duncan of how the battle is progressing. This is the role of the Captain in the play. In the play we don't see the battle, this shows us a more violent side to Macbeth, however it shows him as a warrior, not just a nobleman and a loving husband. We hear that Macbeth has won the battle and all the men are praising him. Duncan decides to reward Macbeth with the title the Thane of Cawdor, he sends men to kill the present Cawdor and deliver the message to Macbeth. We then have another extra scene, they drag Cawdor to a car. Three children, the witches, have just broken the window. Cawdor is shut in the car and Malcolm sets it alight. He takes his punishment and does not attempt to escape. A close up on his face shows his disclaim for the learning Malcolm I think that Macbeth would do the same, they are alike, they are both traitors. ...read more.


He turns his back on Ross, Banquo and Angus, this is what he will go on to do later on in the play to betray all the ones he knows on his quest to be King. He has his gun pressed against his cheek, he likes the power of the gun it makes him feel power, something that he longs to have, and we can hear his thoughts 'if chance will have me king, why chance may crown me, without my stir' We can see instead of fighting everyone to become king he is waiting for chance to crown him, or make him king. He turns to his comrades and says 'Till then enough - come now friends' He calls them friends now but would he be calling them friends if he knew he was going to kill his best friend Banquo Out of the two screen versions I prefer this one it presents the Macbeth I think of when I read Shakespeare's Macbeth. It shows good camera work to add to the effects. In this version the scenes are in the same order as the book unlike 'Macbeth on the estate' which muddles them around. I also think the witches are better portrayed as adults they seem more evil robbing the bodies. This Duncan is a good king I think this makes Macbeth seem even worse when he goes to kill him it shows that he is willing to kill good people to get where he wants to be. The war seems to be a proper war over land the way it would have been in Shakespeare's time, not over drugs. This Screen version does portray Macbeth as the tragic hero I expected to see after first reading the book. Macbeth in both versions seems in a trance like state while the witches are around I think this is significant because the witches could be setting a spell on him. Adam Coulter 12J ...read more.

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